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Elections

Democrats Push Agenda With Little Hope Of Gaining Majority Power This Fall

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Karen Kasler
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Minority Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton), Rep. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood), Rep. Jack Cera (R-Bellaire), Rep. Nick Celebreeze (D-Parma, at podium), and central Ohio House candidates Lee Schreiner and Kris Keller

Ohio’s 34 House Democrats are all up for re-election, along with their 65 Republican colleagues. But they’re not letting their low numbers set them back as they think about what bills they plan to push in the lame duck session this fall and beyond.

Democrats are talking up their agenda of raising the minimum wage, guaranteeing equal pay for women, expanding paid family leave, lowering college costs and spending on clean energy and infrastructure. Minority Leader Fred Strahorn of Dayton said his caucus's numbers are ultimately up to the voters, but he doesn’t feel Democrats have to have the majority to make things change. “When we got to 42 and 46 members, the behavior changed.  What you can’t do is let people do whatever they want to in the legislature and never say anything about it.”

Democrats don’t have candidates on the ballot in 16 of the state’s 99 House districts, and it’s generally conceded that Democrats don’t stand a chance to win some of them.